News and Commentary

After Hot Mic Moment, Democrats Rush To Save Sixteen-Term Rep From Getting AOC’d

   DailyWire.com
Representative Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. President Donald Trump's lawyers finished presenting his defense on Tuesday, their third day of arguments in the Senate impeachment trial. The next phase, 16 total hours of senators' questions for both sides, will begin Wednesday.
Stefani Reynolds / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Longtime Democratic politicians have been rushing to save sixteen-term Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) from primary challenger Jamaal Bowman, a left-wing-backed candidate who is now polling ten points higher than Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

While Bowman has been endorsed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Engel has racked up a litany of endorsements from establishment Democrats. In the last few days alone, these endorsements include House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The flood of support suggests that Democrats fear that Engel, who has reportedly not had a serious primary challenge in 20 years, may suffer the same political fate as former Congressman Joe Crowley, who was the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus when he lost a primary challenge to the then-politically unknown AOC.

Engel has been facing scrutiny for the lack of presence in his district, as highlighted by Atlantic journalist Edward Isaac-Dovere, who reported that Engel was hunkered down near the capital while insisting, during in-person conversation with Isaac-Dovere at his Maryland home, that he was also quarantined in New York.

“I’m in both places,” Engel said.

“You are?” I asked.

“I sure am,” he said.

“You’ve been quarantined in both places?”

“Sure have.”

Engel’s office also advertised the congressman as participating in two local events, although The Atlantic reports that he didn’t. For one of them, Engel maintained the following day that he participated in the event, a mask distribution, despite allegedly not actually attending in-person.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, Engel made an appearance in New York City after the Atlantic report dropped, but made headlines over a viral hot mic moment during which the congressman begged an event organizer to let him speak, seemingly so that his constituents would see that he actually attended.

“If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” Engel told the organizer, who asked him to repeat himself, prompting the congressman to say it again: “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”

“Don’t do that to me, we’re not going to do this,” the organizer told Engel in response to his begging. The New York Times reported that the event organizer also added: “Everybody has a primary, you know that.”

Politico reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-NY) endorsed Engel two days later.

According to The New York Times, which reported Wednesday that “Top Democrats Are Trying To Stop This Man From Becoming The Next A.O.C.,” Bowman has highlighted Engel’s district attendance as a reason he shouldn’t be re-elected.

“He doesn’t live in our community,” said Bowman. “I live in our struggles.”

Engel, who reportedly purchased his Maryland home in 1988, believes these criticisms are unfounded.

“I work in Washington and he’s going to deny me a place to sleep?” said Engel, who added, “you can’t stay on the, sleep on the streets.”

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